David Bell Sustainability Green Building

Green building practices

Professor Emeritus, Senior Scholar and Former Dean, Faculty of Environmental Studies,
York University

Research Interests
David Bell is interested in Governance for Sustainability – the transformation in decision-making practices, policies, institutions and culture that will be necessary to support sustainability in the public and private sectors. He has served as consultant and advisor to private sector companies and to governments at all 3 levels in Canada and internationally to the G8, the Government of China, and the Government of Jamaica.

A political scientist by training, David was an undergraduate at York University in its earliest years, graduating with his B. A. in 1965. He received his PhD from Harvard University in 1969, and taught at Michigan State University for 2 years before returning to York in 1971. He served as Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies (1981 87) and Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Studies from 1992 1996 at York University.

David is Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar in Environmental Studies and was until July 2003 the Director of the York Centre for Applied Sustainability (YCAS). This Centre, which he founded in 1996, has now evolved into the York University Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS).

David is currently the Chair of Learning for a Sustainable Future ( and co-chair of the Education Alliance for a Sustainable Ontario (EASO), and of the National Education for Sustainable Development Expert Council (NESDEC). He served as a member of the National Round Table on Environment and Economy ( from June 2003 to February 2007. From December 2002 until November 2006, David served as Chair Of the Board of Directors of Parc-Downsview-Park Inc. ( a federal Crown Corporation whose mandate is to create for the people of Canada an “urban greenspace for the enjoyment of future generations” at former CFB Downsview.

David was a member of the Environmental Task Force of the City of Toronto (1998 – 2000) and the Toronto Sustainability Round Table (2000 – 2003). David chaired the SRT Governance Working Group. He was a founding member of the International Sustainability Indicators Network (ISIN) and was also Chair of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Voluntary Challenge and Registry (VCR Inc) from 1997 until 2004. He served for the Minister of Environment (Ontario) as Chair/facilitator of the Expert Panel on the Taro East Landfill which released its Final Report in October, 2000. In July 2005 he was appointed Chair/facilitator of the Toward Sustainability in York Region Advisory Group which presented its Report to the York Region Council in June 2006.


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Q&A

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How are green buildings related to sustainability?

It is a nice natural color. They save on paint as green fungus or mold and slime is covering the outside of the building.

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What does sustainable mean in the contents of green building?

Green or sustainable building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. .